Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin — was an architect, a designer, an artist and critic. His is a name that frequently appears when reading about theology, architecture, or the arts of the nineteenth century. Born in London in , the same year as Dickens, Pugin lived for a mere forty years. His early school education was rather informal, in fact he never attended school in the way we would think of it today.
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Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was the most influential English ecclesiastical architect of his day and the principal theoretician of the Gothic revival. Born in London on March 1, , A. Pugin was the son of, and early assistant to, Augustus Charles Pugin, the producer of pattern books of Gothic building, such as Examples of Gothic Architecture The younger Pugin's conversion to Catholicism in led to a series of publications defending his chosen religion against the Established Church and advocating a correct Gothic style for its buildings.
These publications had a great influence beyond the small circle of aristocratic Catholic restorationists, such as Lord Shrewsbury, who were Pugin's principal patrons.
Pugin's propaganda campaign began with the publication, at his own expense—since it was too controversial for a commercial publisher—of his intemperate Contrasts ; 2d ed.
The theme of contrast between the unity and goodness of the Middle Ages and the pluralism and degeneracy of the industrialized 19th century was common in intellectual circles of the time, but Pugin gave it architectural expression through a series of plates contrasting medieval with modern, classically inspired buildings.
The final plate, in which buildings from the two periods are weighed on the scales of Truth and the modern ones "found wanting, " summed up Pugin's attitude. This work established architectural criticism on an ethical basis. Only good men that is, Christians, and more specifically, Catholics build good buildings that is, Gothic ones; classical buildings are pagan. John Ruskin made this a fundamental principle of architectural criticism in his popular Seven Lamps of Architecture Pugin's The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture explained the Gothic as a rational, utilitarian architectural system in stone and announced the "two great rules for design" as "1st, that there should be no features about a building which are not necessary for convenience, construction, or propriety; 2nd, that all ornament should consist of enrichment of the essential construction of the building.
In Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England Pugin added nationalism to religion as a justification for using Gothic forms. Christian or Gothic architecture is "the only correct expression of the faith, wants, and climate of our country … whilst we profess the creed of Christians, whilst we glory in being Englishmen, let us have an architecture, the arrangement and details of which alike remind us of our faith and our country.
The Present State of Ecclesiastical Architecture in England , illustrating and describing Pugin's own church designs, pointed out his religious use of Gothic. His ornamental contributions in the English Perpendicular style to Charles Barry's Houses of Parliament onward demonstrated the application of Gothic in the cause of nationalism.
Pugin's influence through these publications was farreaching, but his buildings, some 70 in all, also represent an impressive achievement.
They range from small parish churches such as St. Giles's, Cheadle, Staffordshire , to cathedrals such as St. Chad's, Birmingham , and from great country houses such as Alton Towers, Staffordshire , the seat of Lord Shrewsbury, and Scarisbrick Hall, Lancashire after , to monastic and other institutional buildings such as St. John's Hospital, Alton, Staffordshire Quality varies with the budget in these works, but all are more Victorian than Gothic, and they reflect the infant state of medieval studies of the period.
Biography Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin Facts Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was the most influential English ecclesiastical architect of his day and the principal theoretician of the Gothic revival. Encyclopedia of World Biography.
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Augustus Pugin (1812-1852)
His importance lies not only in his virtual creation of the major style of the l9th century, Neo-Gothic, which was a fundamental re-creation and not a pastiche, but in his deliberate approach to design and function. Pugin anticipated many of Ruskin's statements on design in the many books and pamphlets that he wrote. Just before his death, he was in charge of the Medieval Court in the Great Exhibition of , and also served on the committee which selected objects to be purchased from the Exhibition for the new Museum of Manufactures. He studied with his father, the French-born architect Auguste Charles Pugin
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin: Biography & Facts
Pugin, Augustus Welby Northmore — English architect and polemicist, the son of A. Pugin , he was one of the key personalities of the Gothic Revival. After his conversion to Roman Catholicism in c. He claimed that Pointed architecture Gothic was produced by the RC faith, that Classical architecture was pagan, that the Reformation was a dreadful scourge, and that medieval architecture was greatly superior to anything produced by the Renaissance or Classical Revivals. The great test of architectural beauty was the fitness of the design to the purpose for which it was intended, and the style of a building should tell the spectator at once what its purpose was.
Pugin was the son of the architect Augustus Charles Pugin, who gave him his architectural and draftsmanship training. His mature professional life began in when he published Contrasts , which conveyed the argument with which Pugin was throughout his life to be identified, the link between the quality and character of a society with the calibre of its architecture. Pugin, who became a Roman Catholic in , contended that decline in the arts was a result of a spiritual decline occasioned by the Reformation. Between and Pugin enjoyed a growing architectural practice. His employment by John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and other Roman Catholic laymen and clergy resulted in his identification with the leadership of the Roman Catholic revival. His plans for St.
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was the most influential English ecclesiastical architect of his day and the principal theoretician of the Gothic revival. Born in London on March 1, , A. Pugin was the son of, and early assistant to, Augustus Charles Pugin, the producer of pattern books of Gothic building, such as Examples of Gothic Architecture The younger Pugin's conversion to Catholicism in led to a series of publications defending his chosen religion against the Established Church and advocating a correct Gothic style for its buildings. These publications had a great influence beyond the small circle of aristocratic Catholic restorationists, such as Lord Shrewsbury, who were Pugin's principal patrons. Pugin's propaganda campaign began with the publication, at his own expense—since it was too controversial for a commercial publisher—of his intemperate Contrasts ; 2d ed.
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